We had some horrible storms, now my 1996 Chrysler Seabring suddenly won't start. There was no flooding in the area.


Asked by Sep 04, 2012 at 02:29 PM about the Chrysler Sebring

Question type: General

We had some horrible storms, now my 1996 Chrysler Seabring suddenly won't start.  There was no flooding in the area.   I can jump my car and it will work fine for the day.  But the next day it needs to be jumped again.   
I don't have any battery lights on.  I also took it to an autoplace and my battery is just low, and it has no dead cells to it.   The people there sure wanted to sell me a battery, but the guy there honestly didn't know if i really needed one yet or not based on the readings.   

But... I can't continue living where i have to get a jumpstart to do anything in life.  HELP!
Oh BTW, I never had this trouble before the sets of storms, and it was always most reliable.
I didn't even have a slow startup or anything... it was strong and good.  Even the day before this problem presented.

Thanks for any help you can offer!!!

12 Answers


Honestly sounds like a battery issue. The problem with the battery testers are that if the first cell is bad in the battery, it will indicate the battery to be replaced, but if the last cell is bad it will not. It will just indicate the battery to be low. If the last cell (or cells) are bad, then you can pretty much drive around all day and the alternator keeps the battery charged, but when the car is parked overnight then the battery will drain itself over night. My recommendation: Drive or let the car idle for one hour continuously without turning off the car before parking it for the night. If you go out the next day to start the car and you have to jump it again.. Then it is safe to assume you have a bad battery.

2 of 2 people found this helpful.

I'd start by checking connections and cleaning them and see if that fixes the issue next step seems as the test already says you may want to replace it is if the cleaning doesn't fix it try getting a new battery and see if that fixes the issue.

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

First of all thank you so much for the answers, and I apologize for being delayed in responding. The strangest part is that my car never had any problems starting. Then we had a series of horrible storms. Some water got in the passengers rear of the car... and THEN, the PROBLEM MANIFESTED.... Now I called my insurance company, and they checked it for storm damage under the hood. But that is the only place they looked, and all that they did. I proceeded to have the battery checked. Now every once in a while it will start, but it's not reliable. I drive it maybe once a week, and i used to drive it even less. Does this still ring of battery problems? With it happening suddenly with the before and after thing? It is just so weird. Thanks again for your help.


One other question... what quality battery would you put in a 96 Seabring? There are three different ones that I found available. But I don't know which would be the best choice for that car. Thank you!!!!


I always buy the battery with the longest warranty. :-) And, to me it sounds like a faulty battery. You can have a bad battery test ok.. Trust me.. Seen it hundreds of times.

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

if you think it was caused by the storm and the insurance company thought the storm was bad enough to cause some kind of problem, they might pay if you get a mechanic to look at it and find the problem. If he says it was definitely storm related, then they have to pay to fix it.

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

They did pay for someone to look at it but the mechanic did not know the cause of the power problem. He said he could continue looking at my electrical system on my dime, after he saw that there was no water under the hood. But, yes, the storm was bad enough to have to car in the shop for 5 days. lol


I am trying to decide realistically how long i can hang on to my car. I am a disabled individual, and I don't know anything about cars. I have always just had a car that was paid in full. So, naturally this one is. But as it's a 96, with 107,000 miles on it, and i put very few miles on it per month, I am not sure how long I should expect to have my car. I also put a question in that it "smells hot" after i drive it a while. So i have to deal with that.

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

It's one of two things... either a faulty battery or alternator. If you take the alternator off and take it to the parts store, they can test it. don't listen to the guy talking about bad battery cells. As a battery has cells in series, the tested result cannot determine which cell is bad, nor does any tester ever made have the capability to tell which cell is bad. If it has a bad ccell, the battery is bad. Simple math and a multimeter can determine a bad battery. Take it to a different shop and have the bbattery tested while disconnected. If it passes, take the alternator off and have it tested separately, sometimes on-car alternator tests show false positives and can't diagnose intermittent problems. By the way.... when you find a solution, please post it for other people with the same problem.


Not sure if you found a solution yet. Is yours a JXI? It may have an infinity audio amp beneath the passenger seat, as well as other connections sensitive to moisture. If not that, possibly another electrical component may be discharging the battery. Are there any other devices operating erratically? I agree with others regarding battery and alternator, but a complete system check either by dealer or independent savvy to electrical issues gets my vote. Your Sebring prime and cared for, I believe it is worth keeping, unless it strands you. Best of luck.


Optima batteries seem to be some of the best.


I have the same car with the same exact issue. I just found someone on another site having the same problem and went thru 5 batterys and one in three days.. it was a problem with one of the relays... a 10 dollar part it.. they can be checked with an ampometer.. the one at zero needs to be replaced.. its shorting out and draining your car.. i too am a female and have been having this problem for a year now... for weeks at a time it will start right up and then suddenly it starts it again.. just got way worse but starts every time with a jump. Its so annoying. Already changed the alternater and was just gonna get a new battery but it test fine.. i can send you the article on it i found if ud like.. gonna have my relays checked tomorrow.. will let you know.. good luck. Margaret

2 of 2 people found this helpful.

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